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Understanding welding and safety hazards

Many people in South Carolina may have relatives or friends who are welders, and they might be concerned for their safety. The Mine Safety and Health Administration and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration have regulations that are intended to keep welders safe from hazards.

Welding is defined as melting a piece of metal and a filler to create a joint. The main methods of welding are electric and oxygen-fuel. Some safety considerations with electric welding are ensuring that the primary and secondary voltage lines, clip and cable insulation, and grounding connections are installed safely and properly. Electric welders must also select the proper rods and be wary of electric shock. Some safety considerations with oxygen-fuel welding include choosing the appropriate gas or fuel, securing the compressed gas cylinder and ensuring its integrity, and protecting the hose lines, regulators and valves.

No matter what, welders are at risk for exposure to gases and fumes, explosions, fires and insufficient personal protective equipment. Depending on the types of materials that are used in welding, various gases and fumes are created in the process.

The work environment is a major safety hazard as well. Welders may require respiratory protection and ventilation if they are working in tight spaces. Some regulations require fresh air ventilation or fume extraction. They also have to watch out for displaced oxygen during oxygen-fuel welding because this could cause asphyxiation. Additionally, some welding processes create carbon monoxide, which is deadly when individuals are exposed to high amounts.

Due to these hazards, it is important that an individual is appointed to thoroughly assess the welding work environment so that controls can be put in place to prevent accidents. When welders are injured at work, however, they could be entitled to workers' compensation benefits. Many injured workers obtain the assistance of an attorney with the preparation and filing of the required claim.

Philpot Law Firm, PA
115 Broadus Ave.
Greenville, SC 29601

Toll Free: 866-853-3497
Toll Free: 866-853-3497
Phone: 864-990-0226
Phone: 864-990-0226
Fax: 864-242-1566
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